Skip to comments.Thinking outside the box with little libraries
Posted on 01/23/2012 4:57:38 AM PST by afraidfortherepublic
Madison - Alicia Rheal is an artist who lives on a quiet street within sight of the Capitol.
She's also a librarian.
Instead of rows and rows of bookshelves filled with Dewey Decimal System-categorized tomes, Rheal's library is decidedly low-tech and charming. No library cards are required. There are no fines. In fact, library users are encouraged to take any book they want and keep it.
Rheal is one of many caretakers of the growing phenomenon of Little Free Libraries - tiny boxes designed to promote literacy and the love of reading through free book exchanges. Each Little Free Library has a sign that says "Take a Book, Leave a Book," though it's not a requirement to do both.
Rheal has made three Little Free Libraries. The first one she constructed out of recycled materials left over from a studio built in her backyard, complete with a shingled roof and a glass window to keep the donated books dry. She's also making one from a discarded dollhouse to be donated for charity.
She installed her first Little Free Library outside her Madison home in October.
"It was great. All of our neighbors gathered in front of the house and were chatting about books," Rheal said as she sat on her front stoop with her dogs Aberdeen and Tin Tin.
The turnover of books has been impressive. On this day the library in front of Rheal's home included: Raymond Carver's "Ultramarine," "Gödel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid" by Douglas Hofstadter, Hilary Clinton's "Living History" and Book 10 of Lemony Snicket's "A Series of Unfortunate Events."
(Excerpt) Read more at jsonline.com ...
Wisconsin Free Library Ping
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FTA: The Little Free Library movement started with a Hudson man who built one in the shape of a one-room schoolhouse in honor of his mother, a retired teacher, and now more than 400 have sprung up like mushrooms around the country and overseas. Wisconsin, though, is the hotbed of Little Free Libraries with more than 100, including many in Madison though only a couple in the Milwaukee area.
“Our experience is when we get two, we get four and then we get eight,” said Todd Bol, co-founder of littlefreelibrary.org. “We haven’t put that much effort in Milwaukee, but it’s our next stomping ground.”
For more information on Little Free Libraries, go to www.littlefreelibrary.org.
Our church did something similar - a free give/take library cart in the reception area. People coming and going can read the books between events or leave one and take one.
Remember Newhart? Newhart was when Bob was the Vermont innkeeper, anyway they show the library of the town - 10 books. I guess the town had a little free library.
Nice. All over the world? Me thinks the rest of the world doesn’t need them. They read a lot more than us. Madison? It’s a university town.
Someone had a book swap box in the ladies’ restroom at work that I made plentiful use of. And for a higher tech version there is www.paperbackswap.com. I have been pretty happy with that, as well. You list the books you have that you are willing to part with, and if someone wants it, you mail it and get a credit, which can be redeemed for a book that YOU want. Pretty simple, and I was able to get some books that I wanted that were no longer available on amazon.
Just takes a cheap 20.00 FM transmitter to carry the audio to the radios in the cars, an LCD projector and a laptop with movies on it. One car puts the projector on the roof and aims at a white wall and everyone else in their cars can watch and hear the movie :-)
Great fun for the kids :-)
I’m such a book hog, I’m afraid I would be the guy to ruin it for everyone else. I suppose I could depart with the few duplicates I have as starter seed, but those would soon run out as I retain others I wanted to keep....
I still have all my text books from college 25 years back, including the ones my roommate was going to toss ($100 books straight into the garbage sigh)
Only issue is that the wife is getting on me about space....sigh.
(Sheepishly with eyes downcast) ... I have books in languages that I don’t know ... and haven’t even thought of studying ... and I really want a library like this fella has - but I think I’d go with a roller ladder (I’d fall off the one he has there and besides you can ride on the roller ladders all around the room...) ;)
I bet the intellectual property creators don't find it charming. This is just P2P file sharing using dead tree technology. Because they maintain a physical presence the lawyers will have little trouble shutting down their "servers" and seizing their inventory.
If you want book content, you should support the creators and pay for it. We're not in China where all intellectual content creators go bankrupt. Some fringe P2P has its benefits, but content sharing shouldn't be so easy the average customer does it.
We have to have laws that support content creators. They need to make a living.
They have a sheltered area for books salvaged from recovering OCD book hoarders.
So, are you against tax supported public libraries too?
What about used book sales at St. Vincent de Paul and other charities?
Stop it your making me drool... and cry... I might have enough for one of the tall ones these - provided they are one sided...
I actually have a house plan that I’ve drawn up that is my dream house. The wife pooh-poohs it, but I’m bound and determined that I’ll keep on until I have it built. There are two significant features that I won’t allowed to be taken out. The first is a large tatami room opening on to a garden (my wife is Japanese and I want to treat her to something special in our latter days) and the 2nd is a large two story library with an interior balcony overhanging the interior of the main entry to the room.
I plan to work out of that room consulting, reading, and writing well into old age... to do that of course I have to get back to work... Thanks for the pics Daffy.
Yes, because they are obsolete and a waste of taxpayer money. Trading old books is fine but currently many book authors make less than minimum wage for creating content. If we want high quality content we have to find a way that quality creators can make a good living. Encouraging more widespread and common use of content without paying for it will destroy the industry. It's why no new intellectual content such as movies, video games, software, books, music, pharmaceuticals comes out of China. Is that what we want here?
I prefer my full title: “Knight Rampant Bibliophile, Protector of Knowledge, Purveyor of Inquiry, Defender of Aged Wisdom, and Champion of Lady Liberty’s Words Present and Past”
hmm - I like that so much I think I’ll bump Mr. Burke from my tagline... at least for a bit.
Both my hairdresser and my doctor have Book Nooks Corners....bookshelves that have free books. Drop off your books, take some or whatever. I have been donating my book collection to these and our local library. I am strictly Nook/Kindle now. I have had both.
I like the idea of these little free libraries, rather than throw unwanted books in the garbage. Only the people who want the books take them. Hopefully they bring some to share for those they take. I’ve been President of the local library board and find that the “professional” librarians are arrogant. When books are donated, they never go into the collection, if they are more than 2 years old. They go into annual book sales where they are sold for a nickel, even if they were a $50 book originally.
When the library buys new books (they have a generous acquisition allowance in this town) the librarians don’t put them on the circulation shelf until all of them have read the book first. This takes a while, so I generally buy my own copy because I don’t want to wait. I like to own my own copies anyway because I like to go over the text if I like the book. I like to re-read the best parts. But, after a while, I collect too many books and I have to shed some of them.
"Funds for this Library donated by Haliburton Broadcasting Group"
seriously though, i benefited from a Carnegie library back in my shirt-tail days.
I actually read about this a few days back - I would be happy just leafing through them with white gloved hands.
Just last month my alma mater, started a long-term project, with displaying the book.
I remember, years and years ago, being at the Audubon house in Key West; a copy of this Audubon "Birds of America" folio was out on a table, in the open, and I *leafed* through it. ;)